IT was just around the time when the giant eagle swooped out of the greater Philadelphia night to rescue a creature called a narf, shivering and nearly naked next to a swimming pool shaped like a collapsed heart, that I realized M. Night Shyamalan had lost his creative marbles. Since Mr. Shyamalan’s marbles are bigger than those of most people, or so it would seem from the evidence of a new book titled “The Man Who Heard Voices” (and how!), this loss might have been a calamity, save for the fact that “Lady in the Water” is one of the more watchable films of the summer. A folly, true, but watchable. A bedtime story that plays like a stab at a modern myth, “Lady in the Water” follows Mr. Shyamalan’s sensationally entertaining breakout (“The Sixth Sense”), a pair of misfires (“Unbreakable” and “Signs”) and a raging bore (“The Village”). As before, this film involves characters who, when faced with the inexplicable, behave less like real people than idealized movie audiences: they … [Read more...] about Finding Magic Somewhere Under the Pool in ‘Lady in the Water’
A man enters a dark room and faces a suspicious audience. Within these four walls, he explains, he’s going to tell captive strangers a tale with life-or-death stakes. But first, he needs something crucial from them: their trust. Gaining trust isn’t easy for Leonard (Dave Bautista), a heavily tattooed muscleman wielding a pitchfork fused to a scythe in “Knock at the Cabin.” It’s even harder for the film’s director, M. Night Shyamalan, a yarn-spinner who’s become more associated with the twist than Chubby Checker. “I don’t look at it as a kind of fancy dance move,” Shyamalan said of his trickster reputation in a 2021 NPR interview . “Now I’m going to do the moonwalk, everybody! Here we go!” Shyamalan insists he’s not after gotchas. He’s a spiritualist chasing moments of epiphany, that exhalation when the reveal of one piece of information makes the world make sense. Early on in “Knock at the Cabin,” Leonard and his three fellow kidnappers tie up a family — the parents … [Read more...] about What Will It Take to Trust M. Night Shyamalan?
New work by important filmmakers is always hyped by early publicity, some of it flattering enough to have been written at gunpoint. Now M. Night Shyamalan has set a new high-water mark for this sort of sycophancy. He has deigned to allow Michael Bamberger, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, to follow him adoringly through every stage of the filmmaking process. The upshot is not just a puff article but a full-length, unintentionally riotous puff book. Who is M. Night Shyamalan? The point is that you're supposed to know already. By some lights (namely his own and Mr. Bamberger's) he is an A-list Hollywood legend whose work is ablaze with beauty and wisdom. By others, he's the guy who made a mint with "The Sixth Sense," starred in an American Express ad and has now directed "Lady in the Water." The book makes landfall on July 20, a day before the movie does. "The Man Who Heard Voices" isn't really the filmmaker's fault. His only serious misstep was allowing it to happen. It was … [Read more...] about Snubbed by Disney, What’s Shyamalan to Do? Walk (and Diss)
close Video New Jersey GOP chairman remembers councilwoman shot dead outside her home New Jersey GOP Chairman Bob Hugin on the murder of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour The FBI has said it is willing to assist in the ongoing investigation into the murder of New Jersey Councilmember Eunice Dwumfour, who was gunned down in her vehicle outside her suburban apartment complex, officials confirmed. The FBI’s Newark field office said Friday that agents had contacted their local law enforcement partners related to the killing Wednesday, when 30-year-old Dwumfour was shot multiple times in her vehicle outside her apartment building at the Camelot at La Mer complex in Sayreville, New Jersey. "Should they ask us for any assistance, we will do all we can to help their investigation," the statement continued. NJ COUNCILWOMAN MURDER: POLICE PULL SNEAKER, CLOTHING FROM STORM GRATE NEAR CRIME SCENE Sayreville Councilwoman … [Read more...] about Newark FBI office in contact with local police over city councilwoman’s murder: ‘We will do all we can’